News In Brief

Charity: New Orleans Needs Mixed-Income Areas

NEW ORLEANS — James Kelly, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, told a congressional field hearing Jan. 13 in New Orleans that mixed-income neighborhoods must be part of any plans to rebuild the city.

“Rebuilding should be carried out in a manner that treats the area’s poorest citizens with the same respect and dignity as the more affluent. High ground should be set aside for the poor and the rich — both black and white,” he said.

A copy of his testimony was released after the hearing. Kelly stressed that mixed-income neighborhoods are critical to a successful future of New Orleans and said that “without government intervention and assistance, the market will not be kind to the less fortunate.”

Kelly testified before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity chaired by U.S. Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio. The subcommittee held two field hearings in mid-January as part of an ongoing series of hearings on housing options in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


Muslim Says Religious Values Important in Law

WASHINGTON — Twenty Catholic and Muslim leaders discussed shared religious and moral values and issues facing people of faith in a multicultural secular nation during a meeting of the Midwest Regional Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims, held Dec. 13-14 at the headquarters of the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, Ind.

Among papers discussed was one by Louay Safi, the society’s leadership training director, on different models for reconciling secular and religious perspectives in public life. He said a political system of rule of law in a democratic society requires some of the same virtues and values espoused by revealed religions: morality, honesty, justice and human dignity.

The dialogue, one of three regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues in the country, is co-sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America and the Catholic bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. The bishops’ Department of Communications issued a news release on the proceedings in January.


Foundation Honoring Chaplains Now on Ocean Liner

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The new headquarters of the Immortal Chaplains Foundation are in the city of Long Beach and aboard the Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner that also served as a World War II troopship.

The foundation, which moved from Minneapolis, plans to build at the new location an interfaith memorial sanctuary that will include a diorama depicting the final moments of the four chaplains who died aboard the USS Dorchester Feb. 3, 1943, along with 670 other men.

The four — Father John Washington, Catholic; the Rev. Clark Poling, Dutch Reformed; Rabbi Alexander Goode, Jewish; and the Rev. George Fox, Methodist — all gave up their life jackets to soldiers on the torpedoed Dorchester and went down together, arm in arm, in common prayer. Family members of the chaplains and Dorchester survivors founded the Immortal Chaplains Foundation in Minnesota in 1997.